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BATON ROUGE, La. Approximately 7,450 seats at nonpublic and high-performing public schools have been offered to students attending a C, D or F-rated public school under the Louisiana Department of Education's new scholarship program.

'The statewide expansion of the scholarship program is an important component in our overall plan to empower our families and educators - those who know children best - to make decisions on their behalf,' State Superintendent of Education John White said.

There were 125 schools from 33 parishes across the state that agreed to participate in the program. (See what schools are participating at or

More than 2,300 offers have been made to New Orleans students, according to the LDOE.

Applications must be submitted no later than June 29. Students will be notified of the status of their application by July 31. (Applications are available online at or and on-site at any participating school.)

Other eligibility requirements:

  • The student must have attended the low-rated public school during the 2011-2012 school year.
  • The student cannot be entering kindergarten for the first time in the 2012-2013 school year.
  • The student must be a resident of Louisiana.
  • The student must meet income eligibility requirements (family income in 2011 cannot exceed 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.)

Because there are a limited number of openings, an unbiased lottery process will be used for spots that have more applicants than seats.

The LDOE will host two 60-minute virtual town halls for parents to learn more about the program on May 24 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and May 29 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Meetings can be accessed through the LDOE's website and will be archived for replay purposes.

For additional information, e-mail or call the LDOE's Help Center at 1-877-453-2721.

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